Dental student’s revealing videos are changing the way people think about flossing

Going to the dentist isn't always fun. Even if you don't have any cavities that need filling or need a root canal, lying on a table under a bright light while someone scrapes below the gum line can be a bit much. Then, inevitably, those who have trouble remembering or who never received a proper education are blamed for not flossing enough.

Unfortunately, not every hygienist takes kindly to this conversation, which can leave people feeling blamed and afraid of their next appointment. In fact, it sometimes seems expected that the person lying in the dental chair has already received a lesson in proper dental hygiene. Many times, this is not the case.

People learn their hygiene habits from the people who raised them, so unless you were raised by a dentist or someone in the field, you may have picked up some not-so-good habits. Dental student Madina Malik has made it her mission to properly teach good dental hygiene in a friendly and fair way on social media.

In one of her most recent videos, she was asked to demonstrate proper flossing techniques. People are blown away when they see just how far they should floss their teeth and learn the proper technique. It may seem like common sense, but it's not, and Malik doesn't hesitate to help those who might be picking up a bad habit or two.

In a video posted on her TikTok page “Smiles Pending,” Malik not only shows off her teeth but also explains in very simple terms why flossing is so important.

“I completely understand that many times during a dental appointment, the dentist or hygienist may not have time to fully explain what the correct technique looks like,” she admits.

Malik explains that thicker floss tends to remove more stuff from between the teeth, before going on to reveal that at any given time you'll have a “dirty” finger and a “clean” finger. This may be new information to some, but she explains in another video that wrapping floss around “dirty” fingers can prevent bacteria from spreading to the next tooth that is flossed. Essentially, each tooth needs a new length of floss to remove the bacteria and gunk that builds up between the teeth.

She then talked about the importance of flossing your back teeth, which can be difficult to reach. Malik said in a follow-up video that water and floss picks work differently than regular floss because they not only remove debris, but also the bacteria that cause cavities and gingivitis.

As for why it's important to floss at your six-month check-up besides avoiding getting scolded in the dental chair? Well, according to dental students, one should “floss the teeth you want to keep.” Now, dental hygienists around the world may need to put that statement on T-shirts.

Malik told Upworthy, “As a dental student, we would provide comprehensive care to many patients, and we would demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques after every cleaning because most people are never actually taught the correct technique. It's a safe method, and many people have learned the correct way to brush and floss.

@smilespending Reply to @ashley Always open for more oral hygiene questions! #oralhealth #oralhealtheducation #flossingtechnique #flossing #oralhygiene #oralhygienetips #oralhygieneroutine #oralhealthtips ♬ Original Sound – Madina | D3 New York

Not only did people ask follow-up questions, which led to more educational videos, but they also thanked her for breaking it down in an easy-to-understand way.

“Omg thank you for this video. I thought there was something wrong with my gums that allowed me to go so deep. I thought that was bad,” one user wrote.

“I've been doing the wrong thing my whole life. The way I do it… it's like I've never flossed,” said another.

“This is so helpful. I've never flossed because I don't really know the proper procedure. Thank you,” one person revealed.

“You're right, I've been flossing incorrectly my whole life. I didn't know you had to stretch your gums so high! Thank you for sharing,” another shared.

The dental student explains: “My videos are designed to be easy to understand and show what is and isn’t safe for gums from experts. Especially since there are so many people on TikTok giving advice without dental education or background, I are doing their part to share quality dental health advice in the hope of counteracting the bad advice circulating on the platform.

This series is not only helpful for people who visit the dentist regularly, but also for those who cannot afford dental care. Malik's video is packed with messages, including where to get affordable dental care if you don't have proper dental insurance. Judging from the comments, people are grateful for her service.

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